Set-piece kings: Gerrard & Rooney lead the way (Good news for England)

Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney have created or scored more goals from set-pieces than anyone else this season.

The Liverpool skipper has made seven of his nine assists this term from set-pieces, while also scoring once from a free kick - against Hull City.

Manchester United's £300,000-a-week striker, meanwhile, has scored three times from free kicks and made three set-piece assists, as well.

The stats paint a good picture for England fans...

PlayerTeamPosGoal Assist SetplayAtt Freekick GoalAppsMins
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 7 1 23 1,933
Peter Whittingham Cardiff MF 4 0 25 2,176
Damien Duff Fulham MF 3 0 15 695
Wayne Rooney Man Utd FW 3 3 22 1,846
Adam Johnson Sunderland MF 2 1 24 1,596
Frank Lampard Chelsea MF 2 1 21 1,396
Kevin Mirallas Everton MF 2 2 26 1,887
Luis Suarez Liverpool FW 1 3 22 1,974
Yaya Touré Man City MF 0 4 25 2,182

As we can see, Opta data shows that Gerrard and Rooney lead the way in terms of set-piece stats, as the only players to exceed a total of four assists or goals combined.

Luis Suarez, Kevin Mirallas and Yaya Toure are not far behind, with the latter in particular having scored more goals from free kicks than anyone else in the Premier League.

It is interesting to note some other face making an appearance, too, with Cardiff's Peter Whittingham second in the league in terms of assists, while Damien Duff of Fulham is not far behind.

But it is the success of Gerrard and Rooney from dead-ball situations that is most noteworthy, as that success could provide a possible game-plan for Roy Hodgson at the World Cup this summer.

As much as he might like to deny it, the Three Lions boss is an avid fan of set-pieces and the prowess of his captain and big-name forward from such situations will be a welcome weapon against the likes of Italy and Uruguay.

And with 11 league games still to go this campaign, Gerrard and Rooney will no doubt add to their tallies between now and the end of the season, giving them ideal preparation for Brazil. No longer do we need to bend it like Beckham.

image: © wonker

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